Live Game 21 Blog: Washington Wizards vs. Minnesota Timberwolves
Ok, so it goes without saying that this game is one the Wizards need to secure. The T-Wolves are the worst, but the NBA is a professional sports league…..nap and you might go home to a restless night of sleep.
T’Wolves coach, Randy Wittman, missed their last 3 games after undergoing a backiotomy. I bet he just needed to talk to Sampson. But even more important, the Wiz float at .500 as I type. It would be nice for them to keep above the waterline and get running down hill.
Now let’s start the show…
Speaking of…AJ hits a deuce to start the game, and Smith cuts to the basket and makes a layin to get on the board for Minny.
9:30 – Craig Smith has been very active. He has Minny’s first 4 points, and just drew a 2nd foul on B. Haywood (terrible call…Smith pushed off right under the basket); Craig then hit both FTs. 6-4 TW.
Damn Craig!, every time the ball in the paint, You in the paint.
8:33 – DeShawn hits a 3 after AJ recovers a loose ball and gets him the dish in the corner, wide open. That’s probably the most confident I’ve seen Stevenson shoot the ball all year. 7-6 Wizards.
Tell you what, Haywood is still going hard despite the two personals. He’s got 4 bounds in 4 minutes.
Poor Bassy Telfair…you can penetrate all you want, but ain’t nobody worrying about you son.
6:00 – Really nice outlet by AD, who got the bound at the FT line….he whipped it to DeShawn for the 2 on 1 fastbreak layin Wizards up 13-9.
Of course, Bassy hits a 2 the next T-Wolve possession…Craig Smith is setting picks like a keg rolling down a hill.
5:15 – ‘Nother 3 by DeShawn. Hey buddy, welcome to the season.
4:20 – ‘Nother 3 by DeShawn. Hey buddy, I said….welcome to the season.
Wow, two in a row….actually, they were sandwiched by a Tuff Juice dunk. Wiz up 21-13.
4:03 – Aaaand a ‘nother basket by Craig Smith. He’s got 10 points already. 21-15 Wizards. Jamison is just not strong enough to keep that guy from getting where he wants to get.
3:10 – DeeShawn Heat Check 3 and miss. Makes him 3-5 from beyond the arc.
Hey, Fat’oine is in the game. Ya hungry girl? Nope, Buttercup misses a J.
It’s sad to admit, but Craig Smith is stronger and Sebastian Telfair is quicker than anyone the Wizards have. In my opinion, Bassy if for the birds, by the Wiz sure could use a banger like Smith. Etan’s a hustler, and I like his game…but I would hesitate to classify him as a Banger.
Andray “Unbreakable” Blatche is looking more like Mr. Glass against Craig Smith tonight. Smith is on pace to have 60 points and 20 rebounds…and putting on an absolute show. The first ends and the game is tied at 26. It’s hard to believe that Washington is out-rebounding Minnesota 13-7 after the Wizards have tried their best to play around that tent that Minny has pitched in the paint.
Steve Buckhantz with some stats….from the tent, 18 points in the paint for the T-Wolves.
Desmond Mason Jr. and Dominic McGuire in the game…2nd & 3rd off the bench after Andray B.
But really, they were right…Fat’oine is more husky. He’s got some ghost strength.
Question of the Game: What 4 NBA coaches attended Indiana? Phil and Steve Buck got Isiah Thomas and Randy Wittman, but can’t get the other two. (I didn’t know Wittman) Aren’t they forgetting Lawrence Frank? Wasn’t he a team manager under Bobby Knight? I probably won’t get the other one.
(I never remember them answering the question by the way….and I’m too lazy to look it up for you)
Back to the game…
7:25 – McCants drives on Butler and gets fouled, makes both. 34-31 Wizards. The Wiz can’t seem to keep anyone from Minny out the paint.
6:20 – Roger Mason with a nice drive to the basket for the And1. As the scouting report probably says (and as Phil Chenier points out)….teams probably are going to guard Mason with the trey ball in mind. But he’s playing smart, taking what they give him, and getting some basket drives. He’s scored the last 8 points for the Wizards. Up 39-33.
5:12 – Haywood is barely back in the game a minute when he picks up his 3rd on an offensive foul, trying to set a pick.
Once again, it can be hard to concentrate with 3 TVs in your living room. E:60 is one…a lot is covered:
Kimbo Slice – I thought I recognized that guy from the backyard brawl eye pop video. Seemed that like came out years ago.
Bill Simmons’ halfcourt shot looks like a Reggie Miller regular shot
, arms flailing and crossing. He really pussed it up there. But, at least he hit the rim. They had Simmons on camera stretching out before….ok, can’t blame him. Then after, they show him hitting the first half-court shot he takes after the game. Honestly, I think the guy is a great writer…makes reading enjoyable. But I was kinda disappointed when I first heard him talk in person. Can’t put my finger on it, but it’s similar to having to tolerate Bryant Gumbel calling games on the NFL Network.
3:04 – Big Rebound by Andray off a DeeShawn reverse miss. Hey, where’d AB’s headband go? Didn’t recognize you yungin’
2:11 – Craig Smith, another basket….48-42 Wiz. He’s got 19 points, 5 rebounds…… really slowed down since the 1st quarter I guess.
Roger Mase with his 9th and 10th points on the other end.
0:31.4 – Wizards are really finishing the quarter well. Butler with a nice dish on the break to AJ cutting down the middle for a deuce. Wiz up 10.
Well, AB is going to the locker room with a sprained ankle. F*cking great. Lineup of Butler, AJ, Daniels, Stevenson…and the center, get this, Dominic McGuire. The half ends with the Wizards, luckily, up 56-46.
Half the Story
- Both teams are shooting around 45%
- I’m surprised that the Wiz are outrebounding Minny 27-17; 12 offensive bounds to 6 (Craig Smith has 3 of those 6)
- 6-16 from 3-point land for Washington, only 2-6 for the Wolves. Seems to be the difference
- From what I can tell, Minnesota scored 26 points in the paint – but the Wiz outscored them 10-0 on the break. The Wiz also have 13 assists on 22 field goals.
9:45 – After some attempts, DeShawn Stevenson finally makes his career high 4th 3 pointer of the game.
9:16 – Antonio “Go Hard” Daniels sinks a couple FTs on another basket drive. He got fouled hard, a flagrant, by Bassy a couple minutes ago.
8:35 – Daniels again down the court. 10-0 run to start the 3rd, Wiz up 66-46.
The Wizards have displayed some active hands tonight. Deflections lead to fastbreaks, lead to buckets, lead to 20 point leads.
Look, I’m glad that DeeeShawn has made four 3s up to this point in the game. I’m NOT glad that he’s taken NINE 3s and is 5-13 from the field. Is this how it’s going to be this year? You make a couple buckets, then it’s heat-check time ’till you make another?
6:03 – Mini 7-0 Minny run…capped by a Bassy float-pass to Al Jefferson for the layin. Wiz up 66-53. If you’da told me that Minny would be getting straight Sherwin Williams inside tonight (get it, paint buckets….yea, corny, but it was off the dome), and then told me that Al Jeff only had 8 points, I would’ve said, “I don’t care, are the Wizards winning?”
4:52 – Roger Mase deuce off the pick. What is going on? Plays being run for Junior….I’m thinking, “Man, teams better not leave this cat open.”
All which leads me to conclude: Great coaching, Eddie Jordan. Great GMing, Ernie Gruns.
3:41- Craig Smith ties his career high with 26. He’s still got a ways until 60.
3:00 – The Wiz started the 3rd on a 10-0 run. Outscored 17-9 by Minnesota since. 75-63, DC.
Phil Chenier just pointed out….and made me realize….Nick Young has not been in the game yet. I bet this is a mind test by the coach. Completely seems like Eddie Jordan’s m.o. – think about it, the Wiz have been scoring well so far tonight. So, they haven’t needed Nick’s fire-power off the bench. Eddie’s just wondering if the Rookie will cop a ‘tude if he doesn’t get the run he “thinks” that he’s earned so far….or maybe EJ is just wondering how Nick will play if he does get in the game. Like I said…a test. Of course, everyone, even me, is great at speculating.
0:13 – Really strong move by Caron to go into the paint, draw a lot of contact from McCants and seal the J in the paint. That’s exactly the type of move that I love to see him make. Pssshhhttt, a can of Tuff Juice was just opened in ya eye son. Wizards keep the 83-69 lead going into the 4th.
Quick Stat – R. Mason Junior has 17 points.
8:01 – Damn, I’ve been distracted writing about other stuff (you’ll see) and the Wizards have let the lead dwindle to 6.
7:30 – Down the court, Brendan, I’ve officially stopped calling him Brenda, Haywood with an o-bound and bucket….keep typing…then, a rebound and quick outlet from BTH on the other end leads to an open lane for Jamison…And1. 6:55
Brendan Mayweather, cause he’s a straight fighter. Minny saved by their own timeout bell after getting a 7-0 punch in the mouth. Wizards back up 92-79
5:02 – Nick Young 3 miss. He really hasn’t looked good since he came in. He had a nice pass to BTH on that last bucket, but otherwise……maybe Eddie was wrong not to get him at least a 1 setting on the toaster earlier.
3:08 – Huge 3 by AD! Wiz up 98-84….getting comfy. Seems like I’ve been waiting for that 3 from him forever.
1:38 – BTH with the Swag Block after a Craig Smith offensive rebound. Is Craig more of a first name or a last name? You’ve got your Roger Craig, your Jenny Craig…then again, you got Craig Hodges and Craig Kilborn. Just wondering if we can call him a dude with two last names, but not late for dinner.
0:44 – C Buts hits a bucket to give him 20 points. He rebounds on the other end to become the 3rd Wizard with a points-rebounds double-double tonight.
I’d like to say it was because of me…but I know it’s not. But at the beginning of Gil’s injury timeout, Abe & Irene Pollin were giving $500 per road game to the Scores for Schools Program; Gilbert Arenas was giving $500 for home games. I complained.
Now my friends, the ante has been upped.
Abe & Irene are giving $100 per point for the top two Wizards scorers – AJ 22, Caron 20 – that’s $4,200. Plus a G$1000 from Gil Arenas…and that’s really scoring for schools in the DC area. Many thanks to everyone (I’m hoping I heard the #s right from Steve Buck.)
The Final: Washington Wizards 102 – Minnesota Timberwolves 88
A VERY solid, but not spectacular, win for the Wizards. I say “not spectacular”….but it’s a good thing. A win against the T-Wolves shouldn’t be spectacular. Yes, as Roger Mason says….(they’re interviewing him on the court right after the game now)…you can’t sleep on this team, Minnesota. BUT, it just shows how solid the Wizards have become. When a win against a young Timberwolves team, in a rebuilding mode, is NOT a struggle, that, my friend, is a very positive sign. Think of how the Wizards started. Think of how Wizards Nation felt. Think of how proud most of us are now. Yea, yea..I know…a long way to go. But, I need to write Gilbert Arenas a letter…..
Additional post game notes from Eddie Jordan’s interview with Comcast….
During the scouting report, Eddie said that they called Craig Smith “The Rhino” – I could not have described him better — Smith ended up with 36 points, 8 rebounds.
EJ also talked about his “quirky” lineup adjustments. As I see it, this is because he is trying to learn about this team…trying to search, see what they’re made of, and keep guys fresh. He admitted that it was wrong to not let Nick Young get into the game until there was 8:44 left. However, I think that helps my “test” theory.
By the way….my firm holiday party is this Thursday..so my mans n them, Adam, AJ will be guest blogging for the Miami Heat game.
And the whole night, I just may…as a superstition, order Tom Collins’, but request a Todd Colllins from the B-tender.
You know, actually, I’d rather go with my steadies…vodka tonic (Ketel One), rum & coke (Barbancourt) or scotch (Glenlivet single malt)….but I think I’m talking myself into being superstitious.
See ya peace.